Sunday, March 15, 2015

Knitting Redo

I found this really cute sweater on Pinterest and thought it would be easy enough for me to tackle. I'm still not very confidant in my knitting skills and as it turned out, rightly so. The pattern took 4 rows and wasn't too hard once I got the hang of it. I started in with this pretty yarn called Mushroom Wool-Ease by Lion Brand. I got up to the color change and continued with the blue. Then came binding off for the armholes. Well, guess what? I could not figure out what stitch to do once the decreasing started. I messed with it for a few days and then put it away for another few. What to do?
And then I said, "s**** it!" And I took it all out and started over!

I'm using the super easy moss stitch which works out very similar to the other one. (Not sure what it was called. It had a "knit 1 below"  in it.) And I know that I can continue it when the decreasing starts. Yeah! I'm really enjoying the knitting and I'm already planning the next sweater. Of course I won't be wearing this one until next fall - it will take me awhile to finish. And I've got quilting and gardening coming up. Now if I could just quit my job.....

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Drying Rose Petals

I really enjoyed those roses Rick got me for Valentine's Day. But right before they were completely done, I decided to dry the petals. I will add them to the flowers I'll dry this summer for some pretty, fragrant potpourri.

When I have a lot of flowers or herbs to dry I get out the dehydrator. But since I had just a small amount of petals, I put them on a cookie sheet and popped them into a slightly warm oven. It doesn't take long for them to get crispy dry and ready to put into a jar.

Here are a couple of half gallon jars with dried larkspur and lemon verbena from last summer. I also like to dry gomphrena, yarrow, tansy, calendula, nigella, and lavender.

This is just a small amount of the lavender I have. I seem to have many jars of it all over the house. It has so many uses and I can never harvest enough. Though I just remembered that I had to put in all new lavender plants last spring after losing so many the previous winter. I hope I get a good harvest this year.

This is what I got from JoAnn's the other day. Isn't it pretty? I thought about putting the rose petals in it, but then decided it would be great filled with small Easter eggs. I'll be getting that stuff out soon. What about you? Ready for spring and Easter decorating? I sure am! (Especially since we just got 4 more inches of snow:(

Sunday, February 22, 2015

My Spring Ritual

It's that time of year again. The time when I can't wait to play in the garden, but it's still winter. So the next best thing (besides looking through every garden book and magazine I own:) is starting seeds.

First I plant a few perennials. I really don't need much as the borders are pretty packed. But there are always new ones to try or in this case, plants to replace those I inevitably lose each year. These are
Carnival hollyhocks, a single variety. I also planted soapwort, bellis, and mallow.

Above are some cobaea scandens, or cup and saucer vine. I guess I didn't realize when I first planted the seeds how quickly they would come up and how big they would get right away. I'm going to have a jungle in our basement before I can get these babies outside!

I used a new method for labeling my seeds. I got the idea for using clothespins from Elaine at Why didn't I think of this years ago???

In a couple of weeks I'll start planting annuals, both flowers and vegetables. I'm excited to try some new varieties of  heirloom tomatoes. And then spring planting will come! 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Our Valentine's Day

We had a cold, blustery Valentine's Day here in Indiana. Not a good day to go out at all! It's a good thing I had decided to make a nice dinner at home this year. We had steak, (Rick braved the back porch to grill it - brrrr)  baked potatoes, salad, and cheesecake for dessert.

We don't do big presents for Valentine's. Rick got me some beautiful roses and a cat garden ornament that I had hinted I liked:) I made him a cute card and got him some candy. Simple and sweet.

After working around the house and dinner, we had a great game of Scrabble. I say great, because I won! That doesn't happen too often:(

Stay warm friends, and have a wonderful Sunday!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Valentine's Day Swap

Don't you just love swaps? I get so excited anticipating what my partner has in store for me. And crafting for a swap is such a good excuse to make all those cute little things that only another crafter would appreciate.

This swap was hosted by the wonderful crafter Vivian of My partner was Shirley from She sent me some goodies, don't you agree?

Lots of fun embellishments, including ribbons, washi tape, and scrabble pieces. (Love!)  And look at this sweet notebook and hanger she made with vintage Disney images:

I love this shadowbox that Shirley made. Such sweet images and details. (Thumper is my favorite:)
She also included a box of truffles, but they were gone before I could get a pic of them! Thank you, Shirley, for all of your thoughtful crafting. 

Here are some of the things I made for Shirley. I decorated a tin and filled it with things I thought she could use for more Valentine's crafting.


 I also decorated a small box and filled it with buttons, pins, ribbon and flowers.

I love making tags! I had just bought some glitter paper and wanted to use it with this love die. What's Valentine's without glitter and bling.? (I loved Shirley's use of red tinsel on her shadowbox.)

So, what kind of Valentine's crafting have you been doing? I would love to see!



Please don't blame me for more baby pictures:)

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Let Me Present...Marquis Handyman Service

 After almost 30 years as a carpenter with Purdue University (with a short time as a special education teacher) my dear husband has retired. And he is doing something he has wanted to do for quite awhile - he has started a handyman business. He is so happy! And we are so happy for him.

Custom made cabinet for the kitchen.

He can do just about any kind of home repair; doors, drywall, flooring, window replacement, etc. And he can build almost anything out of wood! All I have to do is give him an idea (or picture) and he will build a piece of furniture or garden structure for me. He's pretty handy to have around:)
Check out his website: . As you can see, it's a work in progress. We will be adding some photos and text soon. So if you live in the Lafayette, Indiana area and need some home repairs, just give him a call!

Monday, January 26, 2015

New Quilt for Winter Stitching

Even though I am hand quilting my churn dash quilt, I sometimes get the urge to work at the sewing machine. Meaning I want to start a new quilt:) I have so many scraps, I just needed to use them. I chose the brighter pastels. I used a tool to make the wedges - so easy! I am getting them sewn onto the white muslin and tomorrow I'm going to the quilt store for the sashing and center circle fabric. I am excited to come up with the quilt pattern for the corners around the plates.

We have had a crazy couple of months here. If you happened to catch the post I deleted, you know that I was going through a bad time. I don't want to go into to it, but things are much better!And I am ready to get back to blogging. Crafting helps to keep me sane and I have been doing a lot of it! I'll be back to show more of what I've been working on.

Have a great week!